Reducing attrition after downsizing: Analyzing the effects of organizational support, supervisor support, and gender on organizational commitment

Robin Adair Erickson*, Michael Elwood Roloff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this research is to focus on organizational support factors that facilitate organizational commitment among downsizing survivors. High attrition by employees who "survive" layoffs is common and costly. Design/methodology/approach - Using a sample of 2,751 employees, a secondary analysis of employee survey data examined the effects of perceived organizational support (POS), perceived supervisor support (PSS), and gender on downsizing survivors' organizational commitment. Findings - Findings indicate that organizational commitment is positively related to both POS and PSS, with POS accounting for a greater increment of variance. When predicting organizational commitment subsequent to a downsizing, POS and PSS compensate for each other in that: POS moderates the association between PSS and organizational commitment, such that the relationship becomes stronger as the level of POS decreases; and PSS moderates the association between POS and organizational commitment, such that the relationship becomes weaker as the level of PSS increases. Gender moderates the two-way interaction between POS and PSS when predicting organizational commitment such that the interaction is stronger among men than for women. Research limitations/implications - The effect sizes associated with the interactions are small and because this was a secondary analysis, we could not use established scales for some constructs. Also, the sample was drawn from one USA organization and may not generalize to other organizational settings. Practical implications - The items contained in our scales suggest multiple ways that organizations can make their employees feel more supported in terms of both POS and PSS. Originality/value - This study found a previously unknown interaction among POS and PSS that was moderated by gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-55
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

Keywords

  • Downsizing
  • Gender
  • Organizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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